I recently started reading The Eight Characters of Comedy by Scott Sedita, who asserts that our sense of humor comes from our families.
For all of us, there are some familial instances that seemed mortifying at the time, but in hindsight? Pure hilarity. And material.
On what would have been my father’s 72nd birthday, in what will be the 10th year since his passing, I’ma drop 10 of these such memories about Mr. Bill “Billy Boy” Johnson.
1.) Parading around in his speedo when ALL OF MY (and my brother’s) FRIENDS came over in the summer. This earned him the nickname Captain Nut-Huggers. Behind his back, of course. EDIT: His speedo, his vest and his fedora. That was his summer uniform.
2.) Catching a group of my girlfriends sleeping on “his” couch in 6th grade and telling them, “None of you better have your monthly friend right now.” Then walking away.
3.) Casually referring to a friend as “The Two of Them.” Shit is messed up, cuz like, you know, body-shaming. But, too, funny.
4.) Telling telemarketers he couldn’t talk right now because he was j-ing off. Fill in the blanks, people. And when the telemarketers would ask for my mother, telling them she was in prison (LOL), which she was never. At least not in my lifetime. I should call her and investigate…or just yell at her through the wall because we’re roommates.
5.) Enslaving all of my brother’s friends. Oh, you thought you were coming to hang out? Nope. How about “I got a job for you.” And it was NEVER “real quick” as he always claimed it was.
6.) We didn’t have regular phones. We had corporate, multiple lines, I CAN SEE WHENEVER ANYONE IS ON THE PHONE, business phones. Whenever I was on the phone, he’d always pick up “by accident” because he “didn’t know” I was on the phone, and eavesdrop for a solid minute. I COULD SEE YOU, DAD.
7.) Busting into my room with a FLASHLIGHT like a damn SWAT team person-member when I was on my cellphone past my bedtime on a school night, confiscating it, and then doing it again when I’d sneak into my brother’s room and take HIS cellphone to talk to my MAN (LOL I was 16). I wasn’t slick.
8.) Taping signs with unnecessary PRINTED directions all over the house. Like “DON’T LEAVE THE SCREEN DOOR OPEN.” I can’t remember the other ones BECAUSE I DIDN’T READ THEM. But there was ALWAYS a sign.
9.) PLANTING a STAIN – on the kitchen floor under the refrigerator where no one could see it. Was it ketchup? Hot sauce? Regardless, it was insane. Then yelling at all of us a week later for not cleaning it. Because we all FAILED HIS TEST.
10.) SEARCHING my friend’s car when she picked me up to go on a road trip and CONFISCATING all of her alcohol. He ain’t have a warrant!
BONUS: Always dressing SO FLY (out of his closet the size of my ACTUAL BEDROOM) that my friends thought he was a mobster. I’ll never know.
With that said. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL JOHNSON! I’m grateful for all of the genes I inherited from you. Even the bad ones a little. And so, so grateful for these family jewels. ❤ SIP